When it comes to building your online store, it can be daunting. I have spoken with a lot of small businesses that want to build an online store but don’t know where to begin. To help you understand what should be a priority, here are 10 killer steps to creating an online store.
1. Choose Your Products
Before doing anything else, you need to decide on what products to sell as without something to sell, what is the point of having an online store? If you are reading this, you probably already have products to sell which is the first step. It is important to consider whether you have a wide range of products suitable to your target market.
2. Choose Your Audience
After deciding on the products you want to sell, you need to make sure as said above that they are suitable for your audience. If you are selling mens clothing and your target market is primarily women, you need to either change the products you are selling or the market you are targeting.
3. Do Your Research
Following on from step 2, you really need to do your research to not only make sure there is a space in the market for your products but also that your target market want to buy your products. By this I don’t just mean product and customer research, I am also talking about researching your competition too.
4. Work Out Your Budget
You have your products and your target audience want to buy your products so whats next? You need to work out your budget. Depending on how many products you want to sell and how much money you want to spend, you need to work out a rough estimate in regarding to costings. Your costings should consist of two separate figures; the maximum you are willing to pay plus a hidden contingency for changes incase you need extra work. Consider adding an extra 20% on top of your maximum cost so that you know you won’t be stuck when paying the full amount.
5. Domain Name
Getting your domain name is very important and should be considered in your costing. Although it is just a small cost, it is part of your online store build and should be considered as such. If you want to find if your ideal domain name is free to purchase, take a look at 123reg.
6. Choose Your Platform
You know your budget so now you need to decide what eCommerce platform to use if you don’t have the money to go with an agency on a 1-1 build. Consider creating an excel spreadsheet of all the eCommerce platforms suitable for your business and give them a call to find out as much information as possible before making your decision.
7. Choose Payment Gateway
Something which is overlooked a lot when people consider creating an online store is the methods of payment you want to use. Are you going to accept debit/credit cards as well as PayPal? Will you accept MasterCard as well as Visa? You should consider the payment gateways when choosing your online store builder.
8. Choose Your Online Store Features
There are so many features you can have for your online store from the look and feel, add on features, to security features. Be careful as what some platforms offer will make your store look like a million dollars but it may cost you so always be aware of “add on costs.”
9. Build Your Online Store
You are now ready to build your online store. Take your time doing this to make sure you have everything where it should be before setting it live. If your platform offers you the chance to preview live changes, make sure you constantly do this before saving changes. Have fun building your store but make sure it stays true to your brand.
10. Market Your Online Store
Your online store is 100% ready to go and now you need to market it. This is where the likes of email marketing, social media and SEO are crucial for the success of your online store. Its all well and good to build a great looking store but if you can’t drive traffic to it, there really is no point.
Are you ready to create your online store?